While dogs are a worthwhile and treasured addition to family life, they also pose a substantial risk to the things we own. Dogs interact with the world through their mouths in much the same way that we humans interact with the world through our fingers and hands. Problems arise from the fact that the items we keep in our households – like chairs, pillows and tables – are often not designed to be chewed upon. In this article, we’ll examine some of the ways in which a dog can destroy your belongings and how to prevent them from doing so.
Keep chewable items out of reach
The best way to keep your dog safe from your home is to restrict its access to hazardous objects and substances. Medicine cabinets should be kept out of reach of dogs, as should chemical cleaning agents. Antifreeze is of particular concern, since it has a sweet taste which dogs love, but it is also incredibly poisonous and can kill in minutes.
Similarly, sharp objects like knives and scissors should be stowed safely away, as should glassware and other things which might hurt the dog’s mouth. CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks can cause great harm to any dog that decides to chew on one – the disk can snap into pointy shards which can cut your dog’s throat.Finally, if you happen to be cooking, then ensure that your dog’s access to the kitchen is restricted. The last thing you want is for a boisterous dog to clatter into your legs while you’re flambéing some chicken.
Get your Dog a chew toy
The best way to protect your furniture from your dog’s teeth it to present it with an alternative in the form of a soft chewy toy – though make sure that you buy your dog a toy which is designed with dogs in mind. Toys intended for humans are rarely robust enough to withstand the rigours of a dog’s teeth; they will often quickly disintegrate into shards, which can tear at your dog’s mouth and oesophagus.
If the dog has destructive tendencies, then these might be heightened when you leave the house. This is because such behaviors are often brought about by anxiety, which can be exacerbated by separation from an owner. These behaviors should not persist far past adolescence.Dogs which are persistently destructive should be taken to a vet.
Dog-proof your car
Walking the dog is not a difficult thing to do – simply attach your dog to its lead, step outside the front door and begin walking. For those of us with the good fortune to live within walking distance of a park or nature reserve, this is particularly so.
Some of us, on the other hand, might wish to take our dogs further afield and to do this we need to load them into the backs of our cars. But keeping a dog in your car boot can be a hazardous business – after just a few weeks of dog-ferrying, the state of the boot will deteriorate. Fortunately, there exists a way to protect against this damage and that is through the use of a boot liner.
Generally speaking, boot liners for dogs come in three different forms.
Universal boot protectors are the most basic sort available. They consist of an ill-fitting bag of cheap fabric. As such, they cannot withstand much punishment before they need to be replaced, and will not fit the boot snugly enough that every piece of dirt will be excluded.
Rigid boot liners are slightly superior to universal ones in that the base of the liner is – you guessed it – rigid. This means that they fit flat to the bottom of the boot. That said, they offer minimal protection to the walls and so are less than ideal for dogs, which tend to move around a great deal.
A tailored boot liner is the ultimate solution, and one which is consequently more expensive than either of the other two options discussed here. That said, a tailored boot liner is also more often than not, cheaper in the long run as it will be far more durable and offer far better protection for your boot, thereby minimizing the cost of cleaning the boot and replacing the liner. A boot liner is a particularly important piece of equipment when one considers that some cars can cost upwards of six figures – and that a dirty or damaged interior can affect the resale value enormously.